Affogato reminds me of Italy. A scoop of ice cream is "drowned" in a shot of espresso. A little guilty pleasure. Here I am deliberately switching espresso for matcha because the craft coffee movement is believed to be the predecessor of today’s high-quality tea industry, at least here in the United States. Thank you, craft coffee! I owe you one!
The popularity of affogato lies in the combination of opposite flavors (bitter espresso VS sweet gelato) and different temperatures (hot espresso VS cold gelato). Opposites attract, we know that. Think of the many successful flavor combinations which rely on this principle, like sweet and salty (salted caramel, peanut butter and jelly, maple and bacon). It works.
What I am doing here is trying to keep this balance of opposites. Temperature-wise, nothing is going to change. Flavor-wise, matcha does not have the bitterness of espresso (hopefully, and if prepared correctly) but has that astringency which helps balance the creaminess of ice cream. I chose peach ice cream because peaches are in season (not for long, though) and because I find that fruit goes really well with matcha (some of my favorite combos are mango and matcha, strawberries and matcha, the list goes on and on).
Matcha affogato with peach ice cream
Makes about 2 qt / 1,8 liters ice cream
2 pounds / 900 gr ripe peaches
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup / 200 gr plus 2 tablespoons / 25 gr granulated sugar (divided)
1 1/2 tablespoons / 14 gr cornstarch
1 3/4 cups / 410 gr heavy cream
1 3/4 cups / 430 gr whole milk
4 egg yolks
First off, you want to be able to peel your peaches easily. I've seen recipes where peaches don't need to be peeled (the peel gives your ice cream a nice rosy color) but personally I prefer to peel them. Cut an X in each peach, then blanch in boiling water for 15 seconds. Transfer to an ice bath or a bowl of cold water to stop cooking. Peel and cut into pieces. Do not discard the peach stones. Toss peaches with lemon juice and 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar. Add stones (this will boost the flavor.). Let macerate in the fridge at least 8 hours or overnight.
Whisk together cornstarch, 1/4 tsp salt and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan. Add cream and milk and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Add mixture to yolks in small amounts, whisking constantly, to prevent eggs from curdling, then pour mixture back into the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until custard coats back of spoon (170°F if you have a thermometer), 1 to 2 minutes. Strain and stir in vanilla. Chill until cold, at least 4 hours. Transfer 2 cups peaches to a bowl. Blend remaining peaches and liquid until smooth. Add to custard and churn in an ice cream maker, then stir in reserved peaches. Freeze until ready to serve.
Recipe for peach ice cream adapted from Epicurious.
To assemble the affogato, prepare some matcha like you normally would. You can check out my matcha tasting post to see my preferred powder to water ratio and water temperature. Place a scoop of peach ice cream in each serving glass or cup and slowly pour the matcha on top. Enjoy right away!